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Disillusionment


Firth of Forth
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I have been a pretty active cacher since 2003. However I am losing interest fast and on the point of archiving a number of earthcaches around the world because too many people are clearly sharing answers on local FB pages or other forums, and either not bothering to go to location to find answers or even visit the country. I had thought that the days of armchair caching were over but clearly some cachers think that’s an appropriate way to find caches.

 

My two virtuals in Edinburgh are also at risk from this. I know that answers for Holyrood Horror GCM021, a longlived virtual in existence since 2004 have been shared on a German FB virtual caching website, for example. Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

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The problem (sharing answers and log without actual visit) is not limited to Earthcaches and Virtuals. There is a lot of this in misteries, wherigos, letters, multis and geo-art. In physical caches you have the signature as a proof, however it is also not a proof (there are "teams" signing as a tour and some users never been there also made the log). But in Earthcaches and Virtuals this is an unavoidable issue, as the requeriments are not "physical" so they are more feasible cheated. In fact, some of the virtuals requiring some specific photos (i.e. with the username and date written in a paper) are being photoshoped. Geocaching is a game of honesty, and there is a general lack of it around the globe.  You should accept this fact when owning a EC or VC. And yes, it's sad and demotivating, especially when people with that attitude are later on are the most proud of their statistics and achievements. But you have to learn to live with it, because there is no feasible solution to eradicate that problem.

I encourage you not to archive those ECs.

 

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52 minutes ago, Firth of Forth said:

My two virtuals in Edinburgh are also at risk from this. I know that answers for Holyrood Horror GCM021, a longlived virtual in existence since 2004 have been shared on a German FB virtual caching website, for example. Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

 

I was going to suggest changing the questions a little bit for that one perhaps. It's a grand old thing and I've never gotten round to it the times I've been in Edinburgh, but it would be a shame to see it go - but I understand your annoyance as well. I only have one earth cache which is in a remote location. I've had to delete 2 of the 6 logs on it as there wasn't even an attempt to answer the questions and no response from contact.

 

It seems that taking a photo with your cacher name in it is an increasing thing being added to virtual cache requirements.That might be a simple way to immediately weed out the fake logs. Maybe outside the parliament building - so that you don't compromise the final location? A pain I know, but if it's causing grief that might be one thing to try.

 

The earth caches, however, might be trickier to deal with...

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3 hours ago, anpefi said:

The problem (sharing answers and log without actual visit) is not limited to Earthcaches and Virtuals. There is a lot of this in misteries, wherigos, letters, multis and geo-art. In physical caches you have the signature as a proof, however it is also not a proof (there are "teams" signing as a tour and some users never been there also made the log). But in Earthcaches and Virtuals this is an unavoidable issue, as the requeriments are not "physical" so they are more feasible cheated. In fact, some of the virtuals requiring some specific photos (i.e. with the username and date written in a paper) are being photoshoped. Geocaching is a game of honesty, and there is a general lack of it around the globe.  You should accept this fact when owning a EC or VC. And yes, it's sad and demotivating, especially when people with that attitude are later on are the most proud of their statistics and achievements. But you have to learn to live with it, because there is no feasible solution to eradicate that problem.

I encourage you not to archive those ECs.

 

 

I agree with your assessment. The only feasible solution is to not hide caches anymore. Except perhaps to hide only caches with no cache-type, attribute, D/T rating that attract this type of behaviour. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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58 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

{..} I only have one earth cache which is in a remote location. I've had to delete 2 of the 6 logs on it as there wasn't even an attempt to answer the questions and no response from contact.

 

It seems that taking a photo with your cacher name in it is an increasing thing being added to virtual cache requirements.That might be a simple way to immediately weed out the fake logs. {...}

 

The earth caches, however, might be trickier to deal with...

The location of that earthcache isn't remote when you are working on the Nova Scotia Delorme challenge but that true the highways are far from that area. But I was glad that was only a 500-750m walk one-way to get the info because of the heavy rain the day I went there.

 

For the OP too bad the EO can't ask for a picture because that would weed some of the fake. I wonder why in this day and age you can't ask for a picture but cheater will always find a way to get their smiley.

 

IMO I wouldn't archive those cache because of cheater. That would ruin the joy for the majority that don't cheat.  

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3 hours ago, Firth of Forth said:

Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

 

Unfortunately, folks that engage in this sort of behavior have little concern for anyone but themselves. After logging their Find, I seriously doubt they would even notice that you Archived it.  A few might even take a certain amount of  pride in being the LTF (aka Last to Find).

 

In the final analysis, you have to do what's right for you, no matter how sad it may seem.  If it's become a full time babysitting job to keep track of the Log Entries, I can certainly understand letting them go.  Cache ownership should be fun, not some sort of bookkeeping job.

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5 hours ago, Firth of Forth said:

I have been a pretty active cacher since 2003. However I am losing interest fast and on the point of archiving a number of earthcaches around the world because too many people are clearly sharing answers on local FB pages or other forums, and either not bothering to go to location to find answers or even visit the country. I had thought that the days of armchair caching were over but clearly some cachers think that’s an appropriate way to find caches.

 

My two virtuals in Edinburgh are also at risk from this. I know that answers for Holyrood Horror GCM021, a longlived virtual in existence since 2004 have been shared on a German FB virtual caching website, for example. Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

 

I'm sorry this is happening to you. It really is a shame.

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As other have said please don't give up. Change the questions, rotate them yearly if you feel you have to. Delete logs when appropriate. 

 

Since there is no prizes except a smiley in geocaching don't let a few or in your case more ruin the experience for others. Cheaters are only harming themselves. If thats what they need in life you are providing a valuable experience. Personally I think pictures need to become part of the game in some manner to prove logging or scan a bar code of some sort. As I agree false logging does exist if not intentional by accident. I know my fat finger have pressed the wrong button before. 

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I have a related objection, because several of you have suggested changing the questions of an EC.

Even if the questions are changed (is it even legal to change them after the publication?), I suppose that the answers to previous questions should be considered valid since the date in which the data is collected or the site is visited does not have to be the same as the one that sends the questions, right?
For example, if I gathered the data two months ago and the owner changed the questions a week ago, but I am sending the answers to the old ones today, are the owner legitimized to delete my log? I do not think so.
In that regard, it seems to me that the suggestion to change the questions is useless

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12 minutes ago, anpefi said:

I have a related objection, because several of you have suggested changing the questions of an EC.

Even if the questions are changed (is it even legal to change them after the publication?), I suppose that the answers to previous questions should be considered valid since the date in which the data is collected or the site is visited does not have to be the same as the one that sends the questions, right?
For example, if I gathered the data two months ago and the owner changed the questions a week ago, but I am sending the answers to the old ones today, are the owner legitimized to delete my log? I do not think so.
In that regard, it seems to me that the suggestion to change the questions is useless

 

I think it's reasonable to allow some lee-way of a few weeks, maybe even 3 months. Maybe. After that I'd be surprised if anyone showed up with the old answers and without being able to prove they were at the site.

 

As I said earlier though, the earth caches are trickier to deal with than the Holyrood virtual I think. Mainly because the OP clearly lives some distance from 4 of the 5 they own.

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9 hours ago, Firth of Forth said:

Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

 

We noticed "cheaters" when we started (only a year later...).  That's not a new thing.  

The social thing (where someone you never met is your friend...) has simply made it all just easier to access.  Monkey see/do, and now there's more.

Taking your ball n going home doesn't solve anything, but if it's become more work than fun, I can see that.   :)

 

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I can fully understand the OP's frustration.

 

A few days ago, exactly the same topic (EC answers on FB) came up in a German forum. Unfortunately, a lot of cachers say that you cannot do anything against it anyway, and therefore the owners should just calm down ... and also the usual "it's only a game, they are only cheating themselves". Some even argue that it's the owners' own fault, because the EC questions are often so complicated these days. Victim blaming at its "best" :-(.

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2 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

the owners should just calm down ... and also the usual "it's only a game, they are only cheating themselves". Some even argue that it's the owners' own fault, because the EC questions are often so complicated these days.

 

Staggering, isn't it?

 

The odds though are heavily stacked against the CO  - especially by the fact that photographs cannot be required - a guideline in which I utterly fail to see logic.

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45 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

Some even argue that it's the owners' own fault, because the EC questions are often so complicated these days.

While I don't condone the sharing of answers, there is an element of truth to the above. I recently did a lot of ECs while on a trip in Europe, and there were a few that had nonsensical questions. Some of that could partly be explained by translation issues and I was mostly able to figure out what they were really trying to ask by doing my own translation from the original language. However, there was one that asked what a specific term meant. There wasn't anything in the description or at GZ that gave any information about this term, and there's only a single use of this term in the entire interwebz: that EC. As far as I can tell, the term is a completely made-up word. A few other ECs asked questions about things that weren't covered by the description or by anything at GZ, and were therefore impossible to answer. It's annoying things like these that could lead to sharing of answers, so EC COs should make sure their questions can be answered by a finder with no prior knowledge of the topic.

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14 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

A few other ECs asked questions about things that weren't covered by the description or by anything at GZ, and were therefore impossible to answer. It's annoying things like these that could lead to sharing of answers, so EC COs should make sure their questions can be answered by a finder with no prior knowledge of the topic.

 

They sound like bad EarthCaches that should never have made it through the review process.

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I own quite a few earthcaches so I definitely appreciate the OP's sentiment.  While I sometimes will take action on an obvious cheater (after no answers given, contact them and after no contact, delete log) I mostly just let it go.  I justify it to myself that it is just a game, and for the most part cachers are visiting and enjoying the site, so I'd rather keep them going for those cachers.

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15 hours ago, Firth of Forth said:

I have been a pretty active cacher since 2003. However I am losing interest fast and on the point of archiving a number of earthcaches around the world because too many people are clearly sharing answers on local FB pages or other forums, and either not bothering to go to location to find answers or even visit the country. I had thought that the days of armchair caching were over but clearly some cachers think that’s an appropriate way to find caches.

 

My two virtuals in Edinburgh are also at risk from this. I know that answers for Holyrood Horror GCM021, a longlived virtual in existence since 2004 have been shared on a German FB virtual caching website, for example. Those who do this run the risk that these caches will be archived, and spoil the fun for the majority who do play the game fairly.

 

Cheaters suck and it is irritating as heck. But remember two things..

- most people don't cheat

- it is just a game

 

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8 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

I own quite a few earthcaches so I definitely appreciate the OP's sentiment.  While I sometimes will take action on an obvious cheater (after no answers given, contact them and after no contact, delete log) I mostly just let it go.  I justify it to myself that it is just a game, and for the most part cachers are visiting and enjoying the site, so I'd rather keep them going for those cachers.

 

It is nice when you get a set of answers through which clearly show that time and effort was invested in applying the Earth Science Lesson at GZ and in making thorough observations followed up by nice, detailed conclusions.

 

I always make sure I encourage those peeps ^_^

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5 hours ago, Team Microdot said:

 

It is nice when you get a set of answers through which clearly show that time and effort was invested in applying the Earth Science Lesson at GZ and in making thorough observations followed up by nice, detailed conclusions.

 

I always make sure I encourage those peeps ^_^

 

That is fine the the information is obtainable without reading 10 pages of text on a teeny tiny screen. You have to realize that I can not see your pictures at the GZ. I went to one this summer that me and my daughter frankly could not understand the question at all. So we indicated that and guessed. No response if we were even close. 

 

That same day went to my second favorite EC a public mining site for Sunstones. The requirement find as many as you want and take a picture. In an hour we each had and handful. Was so much fun and was grateful someone found this place way out in the middle of nowhere, took almost an hour to get back to the main road.

 

One of my all-time favorite caches was an EC. But to be honest it's not the science lesson being provided it is the destination and the experience to get there that is memorable. That one had a tremendous hike to an amazing view, and see something geological that you could never see from the road. I've skipped several that feel like  read a huge article and write a term paper. I can barely get my kids to read the very simple signs along the road side. 

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1 hour ago, MNTA said:

That same day went to my second favorite EC a public mining site for Sunstones. The requirement find as many as you want and take a picture. In an hour we each had and handful. Was so much fun and was grateful someone found this place way out in the middle of nowhere, took almost an hour to get back to the main road.

You probably could have Logged your Find without the photo, since photo requirements are no longer allowed, and not a grandfathered task for EC's.  Generally the ones that still have the photo requirements on them, either get updated after someone complains to HQ, or get Archived due to non responsive cache owners.

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On 8/30/2018 at 6:29 PM, anpefi said:

I have a related objection, because several of you have suggested changing the questions of an EC.

Even if the questions are changed (is it even legal to change them after the publication?), I suppose that the answers to previous questions should be considered valid since the date in which the data is collected or the site is visited does not have to be the same as the one that sends the questions, right?
For example, if I gathered the data two months ago and the owner changed the questions a week ago, but I am sending the answers to the old ones today, are the owner legitimized to delete my log? I do not think so.
In that regard, it seems to me that the suggestion to change the questions is useless

 

Yes, it is legal to change the questions on an earthcache.  (In fact, after a retroactive guideline change in 2011 or so requiring that photo tasks be options except in limited cases, it was necessary to edit logging questions to specify that photos are optional - though I keep running across older earthcaches that still have it as mandatory.)

 

I've had a couple that just weren't that good when I went back and took a look at them.  (Still have one now, which I'm about to change based on some helpful feedback from the Help my earthcache thread.)  When I do, I post an "owner maintenance" note to at least let folks know I've updated the questions.  I used to specify that anyone who had the old questions could still just answer those. It looks like I stopped doing that, but if it ever came up, I'd honor answers to the older questions, no question. 

 

(And if for some reason I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and deleted such a log, I have no doubt that the appeals process would restore a "Found it" log based on older versions of logging questions.)

 

So, no, I disagree; I do not feel that changing questions is useless

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4 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

Yes, it is legal to change the questions on an earthcache.  (In fact, after a retroactive guideline change in 2011 or so requiring that photo tasks be options except in limited cases, it was necessary to edit logging questions to specify that photos are optional - though I keep running across older earthcaches that still have it as mandatory.)

 

I've had a couple that just weren't that good when I went back and took a look at them.  (Still have one now, which I'm about to change based on some helpful feedback from the Help my earthcache thread.)  When I do, I post an "owner maintenance" note to at least let folks know I've updated the questions.  I used to specify that anyone who had the old questions could still just answer those. It looks like I stopped doing that, but if it ever came up, I'd honor answers to the older questions, no question. 

 

(And if for some reason I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and deleted such a log, I have no doubt that the appeals process would restore a "Found it" log based on older versions of logging questions.)

 

So, no, I disagree; I do not feel that changing questions is useless

 

Now I see the point, thank you for your answer

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